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Action Alert
Farmers Need Inherent Risk Relief
Equine and Other Activities Carry Excessive Litigation Threat

New York's litigious environment has diminished the number of insurance carriers willing to cover equine establishments and activities, while dramatically increasing the cost for liability coverage.  Many riding clubs, riding instruction stables and youth organizations, such as 4-H, can no longer afford the liability insurance necessary to continue their programs in this state. 

 

New York desperately needs legislation to address the inherent risks associated with equine and other recreational agricultural activities. Both the Senate and Assembly have passed a bill that would provide relief for equine and other agricultural operations that allow the public on their farms. Write to the Governor today and urge him to sign this bill!


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Message Recipients:
Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor,  New York State Governor
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Subject:
Horse Owners and Agri-tourism Farms Need Inherent Risk Relief
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I am requesting your support for Assembly Bill 559-A, which would provide relief for equine and other farm operations from New York's onerous liability laws. This bill sets forth responsibilities for both farmers and the public that enter their land. It also extends liability protections to the farms for the inherent risks of allowing the public to access their property for horse riding, apple picking and other agri-tourism activities.

Forty-six other states have passed specific legislation to protect their equine industries from liability suits resulting from the very nature of the sport and the animals involved. New York stable owners, professionals and sponsors of horse riding and showing activities are at a competitive disadvantage with other states as a result of our unlimited liability. In 2012, an economic study for the equine industry in New York State revealed that $4.2 billion of our state's economy is generated by the equine industry, producing $187 million dollars in state and local taxes.

New York farms are not seeking blanket immunity from responsibility. Instead, equine owners and other farmers are seeking protection from individuals who do not follow posted rules on the farm. Our farms are willing to take responsibility when they are at fault; farmers, however, should not be responsible for a lack of care by customers engaging in inherently risky activities or situations over which the farmer has no control. I respectfully request your support for this legislation.

Thank you for your consideration.
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